Perfect Blue: Thoughts After my Second Viewing

I would like to reiterate how lucky I am for being an anime fan that lives in the United States. Especially an anime fan that lives in the United States close to a movie theater that plays anime films more often than not. That increases my luck to insanely high levels compared to most people across the world except maybe fans that live in Japan. I mean, they have direct access to their own media. After a productive day of working on some homework and applying for jobs and such, watching Perfect Blue in a movie theater seemed like a more then perfect reward for myself so I would see it for the second time in my life. Yeah, I’m weird like that. Most people reward themselves with some kind of dessert, I reward myself with seeing a film in the theaters with special release schedules on them. Same thing really.

Perfect Blue’s story is something that is both easy and complicated to explain. The film is centered around an Idol Singer named Mima Kirigoe changing careers. The opening scene is her last idol act with her group Cham before she tries her hand as an actress instead. Most of the film is her getting an increasingly interesting role in a crime drama while living through a crime drama herself. A crime drama centered around a person stalking Mima, creating a fake social media journal account for her, and killing people that influenced her change to an actress. Kind of creepy, don’t you think? Yes! Yes, it is, and I don’t know how people hire creepy looking people for things in the first place. Anyway, the two crime drama scenarios mixed together to the point where Mima isn’t sure what reality is anymore. You can see where the confusing part comes in, right? Well, it all leads up to an action scenario where Mima must escape two assailants that hold onto her former identity. In the end, she wins and becomes a famous actress. OR DOES SHE? I love it either way.

Having seen this film twice now, I get a better view of the film as a whole. The two crime drama stories mix together and provides a very confusing experience the first time around. The viewer gets drawn into Mima’s world of not being sure of who she is and what she should be doing that draws you into the film even more then you would let to believe. Seeing Perfect Blue for a second time around, even though it’s been a while, I feel like I seen things in this film. I feel like I can tell what is real and what isn’t, but I could be lying and wrong about that fact. Not going to delude myself by seeing I am this brilliant person that I am don’t think I am. Still, having a sense of what direction this film is going, I saw more brilliance in the movie and how it got the audience into that sense of “what is going on” and Mima’s world. All exceptional film making. Satoshi Kon is a master of transitions. Having one scene go straight to another without any clear cuts or cut to blacks is something that no many people can do very well, but Satoshi Kon is amazing at it. This was his first work too and his other films are where he explored this concept better. Losing Kon has been a huge detriment to the anime medium.

I feel so lucky to not only watch Perfect Blue twice now but see it on a huge screen at a movie theater. Films are meant to be seen on large screens with amazing sound, not a maybe 17-inch laptop screen or my 32-inch tv screen. It’s fantastic stuff. Satoshi Kon’s work is still amazing and even more worthy of attention in 2018. Especially with all the social media problems on twitter and who knows how many social media things we use these days. The platform that was used the film is out dated, but this film and its message are just as relevant twenty years later. Satoshi Kon was such a genius. I hope this G-Kids limited theater release means more of his works are going to be released on screen soon. Also, I hope this means the film is going to be released on Blu-ray too. I think the film deserves it.


  1. That’s awesome how you saw the theatrical rerelease of Perfect Blue. This is easily one of the best directorial debuts from any creator animated or live action. I agree that Perfect Blue gets better with multiple viewings.

    Kon being gone is such a shame since I know there would’ve been so many more great films if he were still alive. I still think it’s crazy how Darren Aronovsky bought the rights to this movie to recreate the bathtub scene for Requiem for a Dream. Also, did you know Mima Kirigoe and Key Mima From Key the Metal Idol are played by the same person? It’s funny because of their names and both characters are involved with music.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. It really is. There was no way that I was going to miss watching a Kon film at a theater. They are all just do good.

      I had no idea about the two Mimas. It makes sense though and kind of fun to think about.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. I don’t blame you. It must’ve been great seeing Perfect Blue on the big screen.

        Yep! Hahaha! It’s interesting finding the connections of unrelated anime and movies. Mima gets away from music while Key wants to get into music. They’re almost like two sides of the same coin in that regard.

        Liked by 1 person

      1. I managed to hunt down a DVD copy but it was really hard to get my hands on. I have all of his films and Paranoia Agent as well. That said, I’d upgrade all of ’em to blu-ray given the chance.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Paprika and Tokyo Godfathers are easiest to get (since one of them is still in print) but those are really great ones! I think the most difficult one to get was Paranoia Agent. Millennium Actress isn’t too hard to get. Perfect Blue was another hassle for a legit copy at least.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. I have a special relationship to this movie. I also saw it in theaters…the first time. As in on the world premier with Kon in attendance. I was too young to properly grasp all the implications of this movie but it’s a milestone in my personal anime history. To hear that people are still going out to see it in theaters, and consider it a treat!!! Warms my little heart!
    Also this movie really gets better with the theater experience.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Irina, it’s such a great film. How is it not a treat for anyone that feasts their eyes on it big screen or otherwise?

      It really does. I love it even more after watching it at the theater.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Really wish I could see it on the big screen!

    My favorite part is how she is an unreliable narrator, the more she lost her grip the more difficult it became to discern reality from fantasy with her fractured mind…

    That movie is a masterpiece… it’s pretty damn dark though so I got to be in a pretty good mood to go down that rabbit hole lol.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. This was my second viewing, too, and tbh I kind of thought the fun would be sucked out since I knew ~the twist~, but I was surprised at how many new things I picked up on. Satoshi Kon is truly one of my favorites, and as someone who’s a big nerd about film editing in particular, the quick cuts in this movie and all the transitions through reality make it something I think I could actually watch over & over again just to marvel at the technical aspects!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You can teach me a lot about that film editing stuff then, because I’m still learning about all of that. That’s never been much of a focus to me as much as it has been for Satoshi Kon films.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Saw it for the first time last night and I was absolutely blown away by the film. The story was great- loved how they didn’t spoon feed what was happening and how it was open to interpretation. There were a lot of great shots in the film where the scene was setup with brilliant angles. I can why Perfect Blue is considered to be a landmark film, it was truly amazing.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I was so disappointed not to be able to go see Perfect Blue either on the 6th or yesterday, but I’m glad to hear that you enjoyed yourself! I’m sure that it was even more creepy and sinister on the big screen than it was huddled around your laptop’s!

    Liked by 1 person

  7. Totally recommend you to read Satoshi ‘a book:Kon’s tone,in that book it described how he create perfect blue ,it’s also a very interesting book reveal what kind of person he is 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  8. This is EXACTLY how I felt rewatching Paprika for the second (and third, and fourth, and…) time! Watching everything suddenly click together, from transitions to character mindsets and thematic points, just seems to reinforce how great Satoshi Kon was at making a film. Thanks for sharing your re-reflection—I love posts like this!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s